Two men killed during cockfighting event after armed-roosters attacked them
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Two men have been fatally wounded by knife-wielding birds before they were about to watch them battle to the death in illegal cockfights.
The two freak accidents occurred during India's Hindu Makar Sankranti festival, an event during which the cruel sport is common practice.
One man was killed by his own rooster as he tied blades to the bird's feet, as per the New India Express.
Gande Suryapraksha Rao was busy preparing his prized cockerel ahead of a fight in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, when the bird was spooked by the crowd.
As a result, the knife-wielding bird flew upward in a frenzy and cut open Rao's leg in the process.
The 43-year-old was rushed to hospital after the unfortunate run of events but he was declared dead on arrival after bleeding out from his wound.
Another man, identified as K. Padmaraju by the New India Express, was a spectator at a different cockfight in the district of East Godavari when the bird flew into the crowd and cut his hand.
The bizarre twist of fate also saw Padmaraju bleed out and die.
Obviously, it is not so fun when the shoe is on the other foot. Or the knife, apparently.
Attempts to curb the brutal competitions have failed, despite cockfighting being outlawed by the Indian Supreme Court in 2018.
Cockfighting is still a common occurrence within Andhra Pradesh on India's South-East coast.
It is a tradition during Sankranti, which marks the day the Sun transitions from the zodiac of Sagittarius to Capricorn.
Although the traditional practice is now illegal, police are finding it difficult to enforce as the events are so popular.
People come from far and wide to attend, with one witness telling the Express he travelled 700 kilometres to see the fights in person.
"Cockfights are the biggest attractions in Godavari and parts of Krishna and Guntur districts during the three-day Sankranti festival," he said.
Police have even tried to look the other way on the condition the more violent type of fights with knives do not take place.
"However, the request was flouted openly soon after we left," a police official told the Express.
Bids during the rooster fights can range from 10,000 rupees (£100, AUD$177) to 500,000 (£5,000, AUD$8,892).
For those buying into the sport, roosters specially bred for fighting go from 8,000 rupees (£80, AUD$142) to 20,000 rupees (£200, AUD$355).